Virginia Friends of Mali, Sister City to Segou Mali and other cities around the world, stands in agreement with the following SCI statement:

Sister Cities International Members and Friends,

We are saddened to hear about the continued abuse and violence toward the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. Heightened by the pandemic, violence towards the AAPI community has been increasing at a frightening rate.

While we acknowledge that anti-Asian rhetoric is unfortunately not a new phenomenon, it is discouraging and disheartening to see its terrible effects in our communities.

Sister Cities International is an organization that values the building of cultural bridges, and the acts that we are witnessing in this time are much too reminiscent of past mistakes that have hurt communities immensely. The profound harm caused by racism, hate, and discrimination is fatal, and we condemn it deeply.

Our organization seeks to create citizen diplomacy, and this can only be done through the appreciation and cherishing of other cultures. We strive to use our organization to fight against systemic racism in our society and institutions. It is important to us that we ensure that all spaces are inclusive and equitable, providing a space where all can feel valued and safe in their diversity.

It is vital to repudiate these hateful acts, as well as the actors, to protect our communities and ensure safety and appreciation during these difficult and heartbreaking times.

Sister Cities International condemns racism, hate, discrimination and violence in all forms. We stand proudly in solidarity with our AAPI community in fighting against this hatred.